You will be more likely
to start your cleaning chores and to finish the task if you have
everything you need on hand and in one place. A cleaning center that
saves you time and steps is the efficient beginning to quick and
easy cleaning methods.
• Make sure the closet is equipped to store all the cleaning tools
and products you buy or make. If you can’t fit them all into one
place, you’ll waste time digging around under the sink for the
cleanser and going out to the garage for the mop and bucket.
• Put up a pegboard or hooks to hang brushes and mops. They’ll not
only be easier to find, but they’ll last longer if they are hung.
• Install plenty of shelves to hold bottles and cartons. This will
get dangerous cleaning products out of the reach of children and
give you space to store a complete array of cleaning supplies.
• If you need to make room in your closet, store bathroom cleaning
supplies in a secure storage area in the bathroom. If you have more
than one bathroom, duplicate your supplies so you don’t have to
carry them around.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
You’ll want to make sure you stock your cleaning closet with most of
the following items:
• Baskets for carrying supplies from one room to another.
• Broom, dustpan, and dust mop for quick cleanups.
• Brushes in an assortment of sizes: a hard-bristle scrub brush,
toilet brushes, and other soft- and medium-bristle brushes for
scrubbing and dusting.
• Buckets with double compartments to hold both your cleaning
solution and rinse water. Use red fingernail polish to plainly mark
pint, quart, and gallon levels inside the bucket.
• Nothing absorbs water better than soft leather, so a chamois is
perfect for drying washed cars and windows. After you use it, wash
your chamois in detergent and water, rinse thoroughly, squeeze out
the water, stretch it to full size, and place it on a flat surface
• Cleaning agents. Whether you make your own or purchase commercial
products, make sure you know how to use them.
• Cleaning cloths can be made from old clothes, sheets, and towels.
Light colors and natural fabrics, like cotton and linen, make the
best cleaning cloths.
• Long-handle dust mop for cleaning ceilings and cobwebs.
• Mops with detachable heads.
• Rubber gloves protect your hands whenever you work with cleaning
Don’t forget to put them on.
• Scouring pads made of both synthetics and steel wool.
• Sponges in various sizes. These should be tossed out as soon as
they start to shred.
• Squeegees speed window washing. If you don’t have one, an old
windshield wiper is a good stand-in for a commercial squeegee.
• Vacuum cleaner. Uprights are especially good for wall-to-wall
carpets and large rugs and areas with heavy traffic. Because of
their portability, canisters are superior for cleaning walls,
woodwork, shelves, and furniture.
• Waxes, polishes, and oils for wood, leather, brass, chrome,
silver, glass, and all the other surfaces that you’ll want to shine.
Glossary Of Cleaning Agents
• All-purpose cleaners remove grease and grimy dirt.
• Ammonia is available in clear or sudsy form. It is a good
grease cutter, wax stripper, window cleaner, and general soil
remover. If you object to the strong odor of ammonia, buy a
scented product. Scented ammonia is not suitable for stain
• Baking soda is one of the most versatile cleaning products
available. Used by itself in dry form, it acts as a very mild
scouring powder that will not scratch even the most delicate
surfaces. Add water to make a paste, and use it to scour dirty
surfaces. Combined with other ingredients, it makes a very good
cleaning and deodorizing solution.
• Bleach helps remove stains and whiten laundry; it’s also good
for cleaning toilets.
• Dishwashing liquid deter gents are used for many cleaning
tasks in addition to doing dishes.